[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Thursday's episode of How to Get Away with Murder. Read at your own risk.]
Asher definitely is more than just Doucheface on How to Get Away with Murder. He's also one helluva dancer, a heartbroken son... and Bonnie's secret hookup!
Thursday's Asher-centric episode was bookended by two future jaw-droppers. We finally learn Asher's (Matt McGorry) whereabouts the night of Sam's (Tom Verica) murder: He was pre-gaming by (hilariously) making it rain at his house until he realized the Immunity Idol was missing from his shelf. That sends him to futilely knock on Annalise's door looking for Michaela (Aja Naomi King). By the end of the hour, while the rest of the Keating Five were en route to dispose Sam's body, Asher answers a booty call from Bonnie (Liza Weil). Before "Team Bosher" could go for Round 2, Annalise (Viola Davis) calls Bonnie, tearfully asking if she's with Sam because "something terrible has happened."
How to Get Away with Murder's Matt McGorry: "Asher is more than just Doucheface"
What a difference five weeks makes. Back in present day, Bonnie wouldn't do so much as high-five Asher when they worked on the case of the week, involving the Death Row appeal of David Allen, who was convicted 21 years ago of killing his girlfriend. The case, which Annalise had been working on since 1993, turns out to be very personal for Asher: His wealthy federal judge dad/personal hero William Millstone convicted Allen after burying perjured evidence. When Asher confronts him in a lovely, moving scene, his dad merely kicks him out. After combing through his dad's journals, Asher negotiates with Annalise to share the case-breaking intel if she spares his father and he gets the Immunity Idol. Deal, and Allen's sentence is vacated. Elsewhere, in order to regain Wes' (Alfred Enoch) trust, Annalise has Frank (Charlie Weber) plant Lila's phone in Griffin's car so Rebecca (Katie Findlay) will return.
So what's next? Is Bosher a one-time hookup? We caught up with McGorry, who also stars on Orange Is the New Black, to answer our burning questions and get the scoop on the midseason finale, which will reveal Sam's murderer.
So Asher and Bonnie — what was your reaction when you found out?
Matt McGorry: I remember reading it at the table read and just being floored by it. The funny thing is I think Liza and I called it a little bit in the pilot. We were wondering who would hook up. And there's not a lot of people left. Wes has Rebecca. Laurel has Kan and Frank. Connor has every man and Oliver. You wouldn't put us together, but we kind of called it.
Do you know if it was always planned for them to sleep together?
McGorry: I don't. I don't ask and they don't tell us anything anyway. ... When you're acting, you don't get to see how they edit it. There are parts in the pilot and in other episodes where I very clearly would check her out and have moments of trying to put that in there that never made it to the final cut. I think it's probably better that way because if this was their plan, then they were saving it and it was more of a surprise. That's the thing, where you do what you feel and I was like, "He would probably check her out, like, 'This chick is hot.'" She's a little bit of a stone wall, which I think challenges him. Those moments that they don't put in there really allow you to take a bigger turn. Plus, we didn't really share scenes together until now. Getting to see that is really crazy, but it also makes a lot of sense.
It's definitely one of the best of the flash-forward reveals. When will we get the story behind their hookup?
McGorry: Episode 9 will show a little bit more of how that came to be. That's a crazy episode. But yeah, it's such a great shock. You see them hanging out and then you're like, "What the f--- happened?!" The night of the bonfire — no pun intended. Fire up the bon! [Laughs] It is strange playing those scenes not exactly knowing how you ended up there, but it does force you to be in the moment.
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And now we know where Asher was when Sam was getting killed.
McGorry: Yeah, I was having the best time of everyone. [Laughs] It was a great night! ... I choreographed the dance number in the beginning — making it rain. In the script, it said he's getting ready and having a good time. The wonderful thing about the show is I have this creative freedom to basically choreograph a dance number. I go up to Bill D'Elia, our director, and our showrunner say, "Hey, I'm thinking of this." I go to the prop guy: "Hey, bring me, like, 800 dollar bills," and they just let me do whatever the hell I want!
Did you draw inspiration from your Magic Mike 2 "audition"? Was this Magic Matt?
McGorry: There are some similarities. Sometimes you wonder, "It's the chicken or the egg. Did this come about because they saw Magic Mike?" You never know. [Laughs] It was the most fun I've ever had shooting a scene.
What do you think Annalise's reaction will be if and when she finds out about Asher and Bonnie?
McGorry: I dunno. I think it's always up in the air between her and Asher. I hope I have some nipple-rubbing. [Laughs] Frank sleeps around enough. Annalise knows about his exploits. I don't see her as someone who has a double standard. Why can't Bonnie do it too? I think the key is that as long as she's getting her work done, she can sleep with whoever she wants. Except for Sam. But who's to say she hasn't slept with him already?
There's the theory that Bonnie is Sam's first wife and killed Lila.
McGorry: I haven't heard that one. That's really funny if it's true. I like hearing theories. Someone had a theory on Orange that Daya came to prison pregnant and framed me. ... I don't bother to speculate. I've realized that what I come up with versus what a room of 10 writers can come up with ... it's just not gonna get anywhere close. Because when you read Episode 9 — holy sh--! [Laughs] It's crazy! It's so good! And you'd never guess it. ... It ties a lot of things together between Sam, Lila and Rebecca.
The case was also very revealing and illuminating for Asher. How does this affect him going forward, knowing the truth about his dad?
McGorry: My relationship with my father is changed forever because of this lie. ... Asher is up-front about pretty much everything and he looked up to his father for his entire life. It shakes his foundation. The moment where he sees the man who's led off of Death Row with his family — he's realizing that his experience of his family is not what he thought it was. I don't think he knows exactly what it is. It hasn't been resolved in what we've shot [since]. But he knows there's going to have to be changes in their relationship and with his work.
It's totally in his character to simply want the Immunity Idol back, but is there more to it that that? Why is he so desperate to get it back right away?
McGorry: You don't really find out the reason he wants it back so bad. It could be just because he won it and it was stolen from him by Michaela. And we know it was used to kill Sam in theory. It's a good symbol for him — being the top dog, being the most awesomest. That's important to him. Probably more than being awesome is showing off you're awesome. What other way than a literal manifestation that is a trophy?
If he does get it back, he could potentially be framed for Sam's murder... if they don't get away with it.
McGorry: That's true. If he only knew.
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He has to find out about Sam soon, right?
McGorry: I promise you I don't know. I can't tell you if I did, but I don't know yet. ... It's funny because we're both kind of clueless. He doesn't know about that and I'm happy not to know what's going on. On Orange, which was my first job, I was constantly worried about if I was gonna die or if I would be written out, but I'm just very happy with where I am now. Some of the cast ask [what's going on] from an acting perspective, what does this mean, etc. Other people want to know as a fan. That doesn't affect my process, not to know. Right now, he doesn't have a dog in that fight.
There are quite a few Connor (Jack Falahee)-Asher 'shippers out there.
McCorry: I know! I like their relationship. It's a bit more of the same in the next few [episodes]. I think he's a little amazed and a little ignorant about the gay community. He's not homophobic; he's just uneducated. And Asher loves to get laid and is sort of a little jealous — not that he wants to be having sex with men, at least not that we know of yet — but that this comes so easily in this world whereas he has to work a little harder for it.
He's sheltered and taken aback but intrigued by it all.
McGorry: Yeah. And they have a similar sense of humor that they can bond over. Even Connor's response last week [to his screen name]: "I can show you" — he's saying that to freak him out and a lot of what Asher says is to make people uncomfortable. ... He doesn't have a lot of experience dealing with gay people or gay people like Connor. It's a cool and interesting territory for him. I hope to see him have realizations of his previous notions of what it's like to be a gay man being blown open. I like characters being challenged.
I need to know: Why doesn't Annalise have a bathroom on the first floor?
McGorry: That's a good question. That's a weird thing. Is it a one-bedroom, two-story house? Hmm. Interesting. Maybe this could've been avoided if she had one.
It's weird when your only bathroom is the master bath.
McGorry: Maybe they knocked down the bathroom for the kitchen? [Laughs] Again, I don't ask questions. I'm just really grateful to be part of it and enjoying the moment. ... I'm a very lucky jerk. When people say they're working two jobs, it's not usually two hit shows, so I feel very fortunate. And to get to play someone so different is such a rare experience. I think it's rare enough to happen when you end one show and to not be cast in a similar role again. ... And I feel very lucky to do this episode and play so much in it, from humping my couch to having a very deep, life-changing interaction with my father. It's really incredible.
How to Get Away with Murder airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.
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